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Common Destiny
Dictatorship, Foreign Policy, and War in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany

$31.99 (P)

  • Author: MacGregor Knox, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Date Published: January 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521747172

$ 31.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • This book offers a genuinely comparative analysis of the dictatorships that launched the Second World War: their origins, nature, dynamics, and common ruin. It provides an unconventional and compelling overview from territorial unification in the 1860s to national catastrophe in 1943/45 that places Fascism and Nazism firmly in the tradition of revolutionary mass politics inaugurated in the French Revolution. Set within that overview are chapters analyzing Mussolini's poorly understood foreign policy and the character and performance of the military instruments upon which success chiefly depended-the Italian and German armies. The chapter on the German army and the conclusion-which dissects the causes of the striking disparities between the two dictatorships in expansionist appetite, fighting power, and staying power-argue that a unique synthesis of Prusso-German military tradition and Nazi revolution propelled Germany's fight to the last cartridge in 1943-45.

    • Comprehensive interpretation of Italian and German history from the 1860s to 1945
    • Genuinely comparative understanding of the two nations' roads to war
    • Analyzes their very different degrees of aggression, fighting power, and staying power
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "superbly researched, stimulating and well-written essays" Times Literary Supplement

    "This is a highly original book: the author demonstrates in a very carefully and thoughtfully done work how foreign and domestic policies in Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy were similar; takes the views of Hitler and Mussolini seriously --as those two did--and offers the reader a substantial array of fascinating new ideas." Gerhard L. Weinberg, author of A World At Arms

    "MacGregor Knox is one of the most creative scholars working to establish a comparative framework for the study of fascism and nazism. Common Destiny brings together a number of published articles and book chapters but the overall result is a satisfactory and coherent elaboration of his positions." The Journal of Military History

    "An intriguing...account; Knox provides readers with a compelling reconsideration of the European revolutionary tradition..." Kirkus Reviews

    "...a brief, articulately written, soundly analyzed monograph, Mr. Knox provides an autopsy of the decadent remains of two 20th-century tyrannies..." Washington Times

    "Knox is a powerfully analytical historian and there is much to enjoy in his assembly....Knox, with a splendid armature of inforamation about Fascist social, political,fiscal,economic,tactical,logistical,technical, and personal bungling, launches an irresistible blitzkreig against such revisinist historians as Renzo De Felice and James Sadkovich who have been discerning some merit in Italy's war effort." R.J.B Bosworth The International History Review

    "both of these works are impressive feats of scholarship, erudite, richly sourced, and authoritative. Taken together, they represent a stimulating and, in some ways, original school of thought that cannot be ignored." American Historical Review Dec 2001

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521747172
    • length: 276 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.38kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: war and revolution in Europe, 1789–1945
    Part I. Origins and Dynamics:
    1. Italy and Germany from unification to militant dictatorship, 1860–1933
    2. Conquest, foreign and domestic, in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany
    Part II. Foreign Policies and Military Instruments:
    3. Fascism and Italian foreign polity: continuity and break
    4. The Italian army at war, 1940–43: a study in combat effectiveness
    5. The Prussian idea of freedom and the 'career open to talent': battlefield initiative and social ascent from Prussian reform to Nazi revolution, 1807–1944
    Conclusion: expansionist zeal, fighting power, and staying power in the Italian and German dictatorships.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • 20th Century Warfare
    • European Fascism
    • Totalitarianism and Terror
    • World War ll
  • Author

    MacGregor Knox, London School of Economics and Political Science
    MacGregor Knox has served as Stevenson Professor of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science since 1994. He was educated at Harvard College (BA, 1967) and Yale University (PhD in History, 1977), and has also taught at the University of Rochester (USA). His writings deal with the wars and dictatorships of the savage first half of the twentieth century and with contemporary international and strategic history, and include Mussolini Unleashed, 1939�941 (1982); The Making of Strategy: Rulers, States, and War (ed., with Williamson Murray and Alvin Bernstein) (1994); Hitler� Italian Allies: Royal Armed Forces, Fascist Regime, and the War of 1940-43 (2000); The Dynamics of Military Revolution, 1300�050 (ed., with Williamson Murray) (2001); and To the Threshold of Power: Origins and Dynamics of the Fascist and National Socialist Dictatorships (2007). Between his undergraduate and graduate studies he spent three years in the U.S. Army, and served in the Republic of Vietnam (1969) as rifle platoon leader with the 173rd Airborne Brigade.

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